Tinea versicolor is caused by a fungal infection of the skin and presents as pale or pigmented patches on the neck or trunk. The patches do not itch but are often covered with fine scales. After treatment the pale patches may remain for a few months.
Treat with selenium sulphide shampoo. Spread the shampoo over the whole body and leave it on overnight before washing it off. Treat weekly for 3 weeks. After treatment, the rash will take a few weeks to disappear. The rash may recur despite adequate treatment.
Tinea versicolor should not be mistaken for pityriasis sica alba, the common small, pale, scaly patches on the face, neck or arms.
The causeof pityriaisis sica alba is not known. The pale patches tend to come and go but eventually disappear. Treatment is usually not needed although 1% hydrocortisone cream for one week speeds up healing.